Aretha Franklin's Granddaughter Speaks out After Being Rejected From 'American Idol'

Grace Franklin, the granddaughter of legendary singer Aretha Franklin, holds no hard feelings after she failed to nab a golden ticket to Hollywood during her American Idol audition. The 15-year-old singer recently auditioned for the singing competition's current season, and while judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie ultimately decided not to send her to the next round, Franklin said she agrees with the decision.

Grace opened up about the whirlwind experience with TMZ just days after her audition aired on Sunday. Speaking to the outlet alongside her father, who is Franklin's youngest son Kecalf Cunningham, the teen, who is a member of the Detroit Youth Choir, admitted that after getting two "no" votes from the judges, she was initially disappointed. Grace, however, shared that it was Richie's words that ultimately made her realize that the judges made the right decision, with Grace stating, "I'm a good artist, I know that, but I do know I need to work on some things."

During her audition, which aired Sunday, Grace paid tribute to her grandmother, the late Queen of Soul, by performing Franklin's classic "Ain't No Way" and the Lauryn Hill version of "Killing Me Softly." The performance earned Grace a "yes" from Perry, who said the high school student from Detroit, Michigan had "stardust" and "sparkle" on her. However, both Bryan and Richie weren't as sold, both ultimately voting no. In voting no, Richie explained that he believed the teen needed to develop her voice before she could reach the heights of her grandmother.

"Grace Franklin, I love you and I think the best thing for you in life is to take a shot at going backwards. Go back and get a running start and come at this again," he said. "Go back and put the shyness behind you and the voice in front of you, you are going to be something amazing."


However, despite Richie's encouragement to return to the competition in the future, Grace told TMZ that she has no plans to audition a second time. Instead, Grace said she would prefer to take Richie's advice to work on her voice while also releasing music. According to Grace, while her audition didn't send her to Hollywood, it has sent Hollywood to her. Grace revealed that in the days since her audition aired, producers and artists have been reaching out to her in droves wanting to collaborate. Grace even heard from former Idol winner Jennifer Hudson, who told her "keep working and hold that head high." American Idol airs on ABC Sundays at 8 p.m. ET.